Once upon an old lady: Neil Hamburger’s Dora Hall tribute!

Tonight is the opening night of the incredible five-day long Everything Is Festival! here in Los Angeles at the Cinefamily theater on Fairfax.

Getting the first night off to a great start will be the “Conan O’Brien” writers retrospective panel, featuring a live gathering of Conan writers past and present, followed by a live appearance from IFC’s Thu Tran, host of the delightfully surreal Food Party show.

One event that I’m certainly jazzed for is Neil Hamburger’s tribute to the one and only Dora Hall:

America’s Funnyman finally returns to the Cinefamily, for a program celebrating one of his all-time favorite entertainers — and one of Cinefamily’s fave found footage personalities! Long ago, a handful of enigmatic VHS tapes, adorned with watercolor illustrations of an old lady amidst a generic cast of smiling faces — and the Solo disposable cup company logo — fell into our hands. On these tapes were wonderfully cracked ‘70s variety specials starring septuagenarian starlet Dora Hall; who was this woman? A long-forgotten pop star reclaiming past glory? A wrinkled studio creation meant to appeal to the AARP set? Someone in power’s ambitious relative? WHO?!?!

Neil finally explains it all:

“The undisputed queen of vanity entertainment, Dora Hall was married to Leo Hulseman, the founder of the immensely successful Solo Cup Company — a man quite happy to delve into Solo’s apparently bottomless coffers to finance dozens of record releases by Dora, all given away free of charge with packages of plastic cups and plates during the ‘60s! Not content with her “success” in the record biz, Dora branched out in the ensuing two decades with several full-blown Solo-financed TV specials designed to make her a star — despite the fact that she was an elderly grandmother with limited show business experience!”

Sunday afternoon, Neil Hamburger will appear in person to present a psyche-shattering afternoon of vintage Dora TV variety special highlights, along with other special treats! More info and tickets here.

Below, an excerpt from Hall’s Once Upon a Tour TV special. How could you miss this?

Posted by Richard Metzger
03:32 pm